Brainstorming is the age-old technique for generating new ideas, solving problems, decision making and even inspiring creative thinking. Sometimes though, it is not that easy to get the expected outcome of a brainstorming session.
When this happens, you should go beyond the traditional brainstorming techniques and adopt some new methods like the ones below.
A concept map is a visual tool and can be used to structure a brainstorming session.
It helps organize ideas and illustrate relationships between them.
Put down the topic you are brainstorming at the top, and get your team to come up with any and all ideas related to it while you put them down under the main topic.
Then connect each idea with links that have labels on them to describe how each idea is connected to the other. As you complete your concept map you’ll have an overview of the issue at hand that will help you come up with a solution pretty quickly.
Sometimes, when everyone is speaking at once, trying to put their own idea out there, the introverts with great ideas will shy away from participating in the discussion.
And if their idea is actually good, you’d be missing a good opportunity to arrive at a solution.
Brainwriting allows you to overcome this issue, as in this method you give everyone in the group a chance to write down their idea on a sheet of paper.
This way you will not only be encouraging everyone to share their opinion, but this technique will also give more time to the participants to come up with ideas that would never have occurred to them within a larger setting.
This technique uses a time limit as a catalyst for generating great ideas.
In this technique, the moderator of the brainstorming session provides the necessary information on the topic, budget, deadline etc. and set a time limit for the participants to write down as many ideas as possible around the topic.
While they shouldn’t try to filter their ideas, they can use any medium to mark them down, be it on a paper, whiteboard or on Google Sheets; basically, anything that they can use to get their creative juices flowing.
The session could go on for just a few minutes, or an hour depending on the topic that is being brainstormed.
This is basically to get your team to consider what you need to do to get from your current position to your goal. In this method, it is important to set a relevant and attainable goal.
During the session, get the team to figure out what resources, how much time and what methods you should use to get to that particular goal.
As you fill the gap from point A to point B, you’ll get to paint a clear picture of what needs to be done.
A SWOT analysis helps you look into the strengths and weaknesses of your company and figure out what opportunities and threats you might be facing within the industry.
Analyzing these four conditions in a SWOT analysis example like the one below will help you come up with better-informed ideas for the issues you have at hand.
Instead of directly finding answers, in this brainstorming technique, you get your team to ask as many questions about the topic as possible. The questions should cover the who, what, where, why and how related to the topic at hand.
Questioning an idea thus does not only help understand it better, but it also helps you ensure that there’s no risk involved in taking an action by allowing you to consider all aspects of it.
Here you take on the identity of someone else, say your CEO, a celebrity, an expert in your field or even your client, and assume what they would do if they were faced with the issue you have or what they would do if they were to take action.
This technique will help you think out of the box while helping you overcome any anxiety that you may have regarding expressing an idea that you think would be not accepted. This technique is an ideal solution for those introverts in your team.
Try to think of what everyone else in your position would do, and then do the opposite. This method, like the rolestorming method, will help you come up with unique ideas.
Not having a great time coming up with new ideas from your brainstorming sessions? Try these techniques out and see how they change the game for you.
Any other different brainstorming techniques that you use? Do let us know in the comment section below.